Zion National Park visitor dies on overnight hiking trip with her husband

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A hiker was found dead on a trail in Utah’s Zion National Park this week after her husband went for help in freezing temperatures, park officials said Thursday.

The 31-year-old woman, who was not publicly identified, set out Tuesday with her 33-year-old husband on a permitted 16-mile overnight hike along the park’s Narrows, the National Park Service said in a statement.

Hikers were slowed by cold weather, authorities said.

On Wednesday morning, members of the Zion National Park Search and Rescue Team found the woman near the Virgin River, the service said.

The hiking companions had attempted CPR, the National Park Service said in the statement.

Her husband arrived at his destination, Riverside Walk, and was taken to the park’s emergency operations center for treatment, the service said. His condition was not available.

More than 20 rescuers were assigned to help the couple, park officials said.

The couple’s journey, which began Tuesday, included hiking along the Narrows, a 20- to 30-foot-wide trail bordered by thousand-foot sandstone walls and centered by a river known to overflow its banks, they said.

“The man reported that he became dangerously cold overnight and experienced symptoms consistent with hypothermia,” the National Park Service said in the statement.

The husband continued down the trail to seek help at the popular Riverside Walk, authorities said.

At the time, the couple was about 1.5 miles from that main passage, which is paved and has facilities. It was not clear if the couple knew they were so close to the hallway. Low temperatures in the park this week approached minus 30 degrees, despite sunny days with highs in the mid-60s, according to the National Weather Service.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Utah Medical Examiner and the park service were investigating the death, park officials said.

In late August, multiple hikers in the Narrows were washed away by flash floods. Hiker Jetal Agnihotri, 29, was found dead in the Virgin River three days later.

The park, famous for its natural geological sculpture in the high desert, occupies 148,016 acres in southwestern Utah.

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